Pasta became a staple of Italian fare after Emperor Caligula famously elevated a plate of alfredo to the Roman Senate. Feast on political recipes with today's Groupon: for $25, you get an Italian dinner for two at Ciao Pasta & Grill (up to a $51.85 total value), which includes the following:
- One appetizer (up to a $9.95 value)
- Two entrees (up to a $27.90 total value)
- Two drinks (up to a $14 value)
The chefs at Ciao Pasta enlist farmers'-market ingredients, high-quality meats and seafood, and hand-crafted pasta sauces to create a menu of American and Italian favorites. Like a matronly kindergarten teacher, golden-fried-mozzarella morsels with marinara dipping sauce and loaded nachos piled high with spicy beef or chicken, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, and jalapeños, facilitate friendly sharing. Grilled shrimp, creamy house-made alfredo sauce, and fresh basil beckon to forks from atop a throne of bowtie, penne, wheat penne, or linguini pasta, and roast sirloin with grilled onion and mushrooms comforts bellies better than the promise of a new belt. Sips from the full bar’s lineup of bottled beers and drafts—such as Yuengling Lager ($4.70)—complement fare, and wine and specialty cocktails—such as frozen piña coladas and margaritas ($7)—cosset tongues in a frosty finish.
For an additional $15 fee, diners can linger for the silky sounds of post-dinner Blue Velvet Night on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, featuring the satiny soundscapes of jazz instrumentalists and internationally acclaimed vocalists such as Juanita Dixon and Joan Cartwright.